HOME SOUNDcheck GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore


  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

Guitarist Martin Barre celebrates 50 years of Jethro Tull, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

» See more SOUND CHECK

When Jethro Tull is mentioned, frontman Ian Anderson's name is the first that usually comes to mind.

But Martin Barre's should not be forgotten, either.

Barre was part of the band from its second album, 1969's stand-up, until 2012, when Anderson unilaterally dissolved the group. Barre played on 20 studio albums -- including the likes of "Aqualung," "Thick as a Brick" and "War Child" -- while he also made guest appearances on albums by Ten Years After's Chick Churchill, John Wetton, his Tull predecessor Mick Abrahams and Dee Palmer (who was David Palmer during her time with Tull).

Barre, who's been releasing solo albums since 1994, is celebrating the group with his latest album, "50 Years of Jethro Tull." The two-disc set features he and his band, including Palmer and vocalist Becca Langsford, taking on electric and acoustic sides of the Tull repertoire, with a few twists that make clear that while he's celebrating it, Barre is not completely living in the past...

Barre recorded "50 Years of Jethro Tull" during late 2019 and was selling copies at concerts before the pandemic lockdown. "Then we expanded it, put on four extra tracks for this release, which we wanted to do when the gigs all got called off. It was lucky it was all prepared last year. This will be a bit of a safety net until we can get back out there." Barre also has a live DVD slated for release before the end of the year...

Though Anderson toured during 2018 to celebrate Tull's 50th anniversary, Barre says he wanted to do something with his own stamp on it, and to commemorate HIS 50th anniversary with the band. "Y'know, there was no reunion, no album, no special concert, no special release from the record label, which I thought was a bit sad. It sort of spurred me on to do something more personal, because it was my 50th anniversary, from 1969. As soon as I mentioned doing a celebration, too, there was a lot of interest from promoters...and it was really fun. We had a screen with a movie and we picked out the stuff we like, and we all enjoyed playing a night of Tull."

As for 50 years, Barre says that, "It doesn't feel like a long time, 'cause I'm not tired. I have so many vivid memories, and some of the really vivid ones are from the beginning -- I wouldn't say it's like yesterday, but still very clear in my mind. In a way I didn't have time to stop and think and breathe and take stock of what was going on. It was a whirlwind for many, many, many years. I never had time to sort of sit in a chair and think about what's happened and what I've done -- until now."

Barre has warm feelings about the many Tull lineups he was part of, but he says that Palmer's gender transition during the late 90s was surprising. "If you knew Dave, he really was a beer-drinking, pipe-smoking, life and soul of the party, dirty jokes...a real Alpha male. For a few years I didn't see him, then when I met her, she's lovely and the same person -- just slightly changed (laughs). Still a lot of fun. But like most people in that situation, she was always a woman. It took a lot of adjustment, it really did. But she's been on the road with us and is a lot of fun to have around, a fantastic personality."

Barre -- who's working on songs for his next solo album -- was surprised back in 2011 when Anderson declared he was ending the band, and they've had little to do with each other since. "I don't want any issues at all. I don't think it's any competition. We're covering different ground. Mine's much more of a rock band; It's a different show. People have experienced both sides. They've experienced the Ian Tull and the Martin Tull, and I'll leave it at that. People have both sides of the coin. I just want to be my own person."

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Arbitration